12 Apps worth jailbreaking your iPhone for

Who needs official apps (all 100,000 of them) when there are a handful of apps that aren't approved and available to anyone wishing to "Jailbreak" their iPhone.

With BlackRa1n now unlocking the latest 3.1.2 firmware and Apple's app process going potty at times, here are 12 Jailbreak apps to get you started*:

BlackRa1n

It comes as part of the blackra1n unlock and jailbreak and basically lets you install the three main unofficial app stores - Cydia, Rock and Icy. From here you then install apps, change themes and basically run amok.

Price: Free

3G Unrestrictor

This 99 cent app does what its name suggests and unrestricts apps like Skype that don't currently allow you to use them over a 3G connection. Load it up, select the applications you want unrestricted and then you can use them on the network without the need to find a wireless network. Good apps to try it with are the iTunes' and App store's (10MB limits disappear), Skype for using SkypeOut over the 3G network and SlingMedia's SlingPlayer for iPhone.

Price: 99 cents

GV Mobile

Apple may have pulled the Google Voice for mobile app in the official App Store, but that doesn't mean you can't get it in the unofficial one - Cydia. As long as you've got a Google Voice account (US only at the moment) you can then make calls, access your contacts list and generally use the service to its fullest without having to mess around with a web widget.

Price: Free

qTweeter

There are plenty of free and paid for legitimate Twitter apps for the iPhone. qTweeter is different in that it is just an app for firing out those thought provoking 140 character sentences you know you are good at. Swipe your finger down from the top of the screen at any point, whether you are in an app or not, and qTweeter will allow you to post a tweet or Facebook status update in seconds. You can attach pictures, video and the URL from whatever page you are on in Safari.

Price: $4.99

Backgrounder

The iPhone doesn't allow multi-tasking of apps, but this app lets you do just that. Of course running applications in the background will have a serious drain on your iPhone battery performance if left running, but for people who like to Skype or run multiple apps, this allows you to jump to and from them without having to boot up the app every time.

Price: Free

Kirikae

Ignore the name - it has nothing to do with what this app actually does. Instead it will allow you, on a double tap of your home key, to see what apps are running on the iPhone as well as letting you access a list of favourite apps to load quickly. Working in harmony with Backgrounder, it basically lets you see what you've got running and better still allows you to close them if you've forgotten.

Price: Free

WinterBoard

Apple spent a long time designing the iPhone interface to be simple and effective in its design, but if that design just doesn't cut it you can install WinterBoard, which allows you to install themes and other functions, thereby altering how the iPhone user interface looks. Want a colourful picture instead of the black on your background? No problem. What about an Android or Palm webOS theme? You can do that as well. The app even lets you determine how many apps appear on each page.

Price: Free

Cycorder

Apple added video recording functionality to the iPhone 3GS, but for 3G owners that means you got zip. Not with this app. Cycorder basically allows your iPhone 3G to record video, even though Apple don't think you should. The app will capture video at 15 frames per second at a resolution 384 x 288 saving the end result as a QuickTime Movie.

Price: Free

PDAnet

AT&T still isn't offering tethering in the US, while in the UK O2 and Orange will charge you extra. Luckily for those who need to use their iPhone as a modem for their computer there is PDAnet, an app that, you guessed it, allows you to bypass the tethering blocks on the phone, allowing your computer to connect to the Internet. The application lets you connect a laptop via a Wi-Fi connection to the phone or via USB cable to Windows PCs. A warning though, if your operator finds out you could be disconnected.

Price: Free

TV-Out

Apple lets you connect your iPhone to your TV, with an approved cable, enabling you to watch YouTube videos or videos you've got stored in iTunes. However anything else is out of bounds. TV-Out lets you basically watch anything on the TV, be it a game, your email, Safari, Google maps, or anything else you can think of.

Price: Free

StatusNotifier

Turn on your iPhone and you're presented with a picture of the world and a "slide to unlock" command. Not very helpful is it? But what if you could fill that opening screen with a note telling you whether you've SMS, email, or IM messages you've got unread.

Price: Free

BossPrefs

This is a management app that allows you to quickly turn off certain features of your iPhone without having to go through the setting pane. You get control over all the key elements like location, Bluetooth, brightness, EDGE, WiFi, as well as the ability to hide icons. You can even force a reboot or power off without having to press a physical button.

Price: Free

More

There are of course plenty more applications available. Which ones do you use? Share them in the comments below.

*Jailbreaking your Apple iPhone will void the warranty leaving you without official support if the handset goes wrong for any reason. Basically doing so means you are on your own.